Breadfruit for all: Group calls for breadfruit trees in every yard
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Amidst rising food prices and issues surrounding food sustainability, one group is promoting the humble breadfruit as a possible solution for managing the family's food bill.
Breadfruit advocate Raul Bermudez and agricultural economist Omardath Maharaj started Breadfruittrees.com to promote the benefits of having a breadfruit tree in every yard.
Bermudez said that breadfruit trees usually begin to bear fruit in three to five years and is referred to as a 'perfect food' as it is full of nutrients.
The trees, which can be bought from local nurseries, cost around $25 and if one was planted in every local garden, would be able to supply households with food, the group said.
Other suggestions include working with the Ministry of Housing and Development to incorporate breadfruit trees in state housing developments and working with the Ministry of Education to have breadfruit trees at public schools.
“The work has already been done for us, we need not invent anything. There are ongoing efforts up the islands and around the world,” the group said.
The benefits of breadfruit
Breadfruit is one of the highest-yielding food plants, with a single tree producing up to 200 or more grapefruit-sized fruits per season, requiring limited care. In the South Pacific, the trees yield 50 to 150 fruits per year, usually round, oval or oblong.
According to the Breadfruit Institute, the fruit is gluten-free and has complex carbohydrates, fibre, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.
This nutritious fruit also provides B vitamins, niacin, thiamine, and Vitamin C.
Trees produce for many decades with minimum labour or materials and thrive under a wide range of ecological conditions.
Breadfruit trees also provide a watershed and help reduce carbon dioxide, are a source or shelter and also provide food for pollinators like bees and birds.
Breadfruit trees can be obtained from:
La Reunion Plant Propagation Station,
Caroni North Bank Road, Centeno
Phone: 642-4188 or 646-8200
St. Augustine Nurseries,
Farm Road, Curepe
Phone: 662-2692 or 645-6552